One of the fun things about being a parent is being able to relive and interpret your own childhood through your kids. My girls are in a gifted program at school (although I don’t discuss that much and certainly take the “gifted” label with a grain of salt; I see it as a way to help them fully reach their potential and also take advantage of some of the district’s best teachers and most motivated students). As part of this, I’ve heard several speakers talking about characteristics of gifted kids, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten about my kids and began thinking, Wow – that is/was me! Parenting: it’s a voyage in self-discovery.
I think it’s fun to see traits pop up in my kids and think, okay, that’s like me – okay, where did that one come from? etc. As a child, I was of a rather serious/analytical bent. I remember attending a circus and watching the people around me laughing and laughing at the clowns. I just didn’t get it: what was so funny about grown men in odd, colorful costumes, bad makeup and a fake wig? I didn’t understand the appeal at all.
So, it’s mystifying and yet somehow gratifying that at least some of my kids have a real enjoyment of so much of life. They laugh and laugh at a lot of things the way I most likely didn’t.
However, one thing that did bring me to tears (the laughing kind) as a child was The Carol Burnett Show. I see that it aired from 1967 – 1978, so it fell right in my childhood years. My mom and sisters and I would watch it and roar with laughter.
… and of course the ‘family’ of Eunice, Thelma, Ed, etc. (later those family characters inspired their own show, Mama’s Family, which we enjoyed as well). One of the funniest parts was when the actors would crack each other up and try to hide their amusement. This made us laugh even harder!
The supporting cast of Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway were all household names to us, and watching the show is a great childhood memory. There were less choices on TV in those days, but in some ways it seems that the choices we did have were better than what’s available now.
Carol always ended her show with this song:
- I’m so glad we had this time together
- Just to have a laugh or sing a song
- Seems we just got started and before you know it
- Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’
Then she’d tug on her ear, a “secret” signal to her grandma (my mom told me that, and I loved being in on the secret).